Strawberry + Rhubarb + Grandma = Fabulous Pie

May 17, 2013

Benoit St. Jacques
Chef at Rosewood Market & Deli, Columbia, SC
May 17, 2013

Two great local ingredients we’ve covered recently, combined into a classic recipe that not many of us have actually ventured to make. 

A fixture in the Columbia cultural scene (and an accomplished musician), Benoit St. Jacques has quietly led the Rosewood Market & Deli kitchen to greatness as a destination for healthy, fresh breakfast, lunch, and dinner – with a lot of organic, local and sustainable products in the mix. It’s not all brown rice and tofu, though. The lemon butter wild salmon is legendary, the cranberry chicken salad is widely known as that crack chicken salad and just try to pull us away from a Rosewood shrimp burger.

(Image copyright Jonathan Sharpe)

When I was a kid and the school year would end, we would travel to the countryside of Quebec City, where my grandma lived. It was the last week of June, and wild strawberries and rhubarb would be in season. As we drove up to my grandma’s house, she would be waiting for us on the front porch with one of her famous strawberry rhubarb pies.

For the next few days we would go picking wild strawberries. I was amazed at the speed she would gather these tiny fruits. Her bucket would be full and my little cup would stay almost empty. OK, I was 8 years old and I ate most of them as I picked.

We would bring our harvest home and she would bake her delicious pie.

Spring is strawberry time in South Carolina, so it’s easy to find local strawberries.

It’s also possible to find rhubarb (we have strawberry and rhubarb in the produce section at Rosewood market). I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

The Crust

In a mixing bowl, mix 1 cup of whole wheat pastry, 1 cup of unbleached flour and 1/2 tsp. salt; cut in 10 tbsp. of earth balance shortening. It should have a sandy texture. Then, slowly add 4 tbsp. of chilled water. Gently mix in without kneading. Form into a ball, roll out your crust, and press into your pie pan.

The Crumb Topping

Save your crust trimmings into a separate bowl, add 1/2 cup of walnuts, 1/4 cup of flour, and 2 tbsp. of maple syrup. Pulse in a food processor. This is your crumb topping.

The Filling

In a saucepan, cook 3 cups of strawberries and 3 cups of chopped rhubarb with 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Dilute 3 tbsp. of cornstarch in 3 tbsp. of water in a separate bowl. Cook your fruits to a gentle simmer then add cornstarch and remove from burner. Add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Pour into your crust and top with crumb topping.

Bake at 400˚ F for 10 min or until golden brown. Let the pie set for 2 hours.

If you can’t wait, it’s all right. I couldn’t, either, when I was eight.




This weekly food column is curated by Tracie Broom, who serves on the board at Slow Food Columbia (, publishes The Yum Diary (, and is a founding partner at Flock and Rally: Events + Communications for a Brave New South (

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